INTERNAL PROBLEMS AND EXTERNAL TROUBLES IN THE ADVANCE OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY
While we have been greatly blessed by the Lord during these twenty-three years, nevertheless, we have also experienced many twists and turns, especially in America. On the one hand, there has been the Lord’s blessing, yet on the other hand, there has been the enemy’s attack. During these twenty-three years there have been both internal problems and external troubles. The internal problems were due to the fact that some of those who had been brought into the Lord’s recovery had ulterior motives. The initiation of the Lord’s recovery in America was brand new and full of vitality, and it was particularly substantial and living in its content—the truth. When the Lord’s recovery came to America, its most pronounced and striking characteristic was its richness in the truth. In the second year after we started the work of the Lord’s recovery, we began to put out publications. By 1985 we had put out over three thousand messages with a total of about thirty to forty thousand pages. This has been the general situation.
Furthermore, we all know that in America there are many large Christian denominations. For example, the Southern Baptist Church, a very large denomination, has about eleven to thirteen million members. There are also several others with a few million members. They are all very large organizations. Compared to them, we are less than a tenth of one percent. Nevertheless, though we are a very small group, we may be ahead as far as the number of publications is concerned. As a result, two kinds of people have constantly paid attention to us. One kind feels that the recovery is something brand new with a great future, so they come in thinking that they can gain something here, hoping that some day they can “take over” the Lord’s recovery. This is the internal problem.
The external troubles came from some people in a certain Christian group who wrote books to oppose us. They had planned to publish a book to oppose Brother Watchman Nee. However, right after 1975 when they were about to publish their book, they felt after much consideration that since Brother Nee’s books were having tremendous impact in America and Europe at that time that it would not be easy to put down Brother Nee. Hence, they decided to put me down first before they attacked Brother Nee.
The few opposing books that they published caused us considerable harm. Two of the books were “deadly poison” in that they compared us to a certain evil group, depicting us as being even worse than those people, whose evil deeds were publicized throughout the world at that time. As a result, the American brothers and sisters among us, especially the young people, were the first ones to suffer much persecution. Many of their parents read these books and became alarmed. In many cases, if their children were active in the churches, the parents concluded that their children had been wrongly influenced, and they immediately took certain actions that brought considerable suffering to these young saints.
The path taken by the Lord’s recovery has always been a persecuted and narrow way. We do not expect to be embraced by the worldly people. However, after the publication of the second editions of those two evil books at the end of 1979, we nearly had no way to carry out our work any longer. The reason was that once people came into contact with those two evil books, they were finished, no matter which campus in America they attended and no matter whether they were new believers, unbelievers, or even believers of many years. Everyone who read those books believed that they were true.
In 1980 the co-workers came together and felt that as long as those two books existed, our work could no longer be carried out; we had come to an impasse. When the second book, The God-Men, arrived in England, the “poison” in that book damaged many localities there. In previous years there had been churches in over eight places, but in the past two to three years it has become impossible to bring anyone into the church. In America the greatest pain has come from the parents of the young saints. Once affected by the poison, the parents would spend a great deal of money to hire certain persons to “counsel” their children. They used every means, at times even exhausting their financial reserves, in the belief that they were rescuing their children. In Germany the situation was even more serious; many saints in schools, hospitals, and government agencies lost their jobs, and when they tried to find new employment, they were rejected. This is the external trouble in which we have been persecuted to such a degree.
(Speaking for God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)